We are unhappy. We search for ways of becoming happy. We get stuck, can’t figure our way out of feeling sad, anxious, fearful, confused or just numb. We may be frustrated, angry, really hurt, worried and/or sad about our relationships with our spouses/partners, family or friends. Or we just can’t figure out what to do next in our lives.
It’s so hard sometimes to know what kind of help will move us from unhappiness to anything close to peace and even joy.
Truly, we all need at least one person to understand and accept us deeply so we feel safe and really comfortable in their presence. I personally work daily to provide that kind of acceptance for my clients. Only in that kind of environment will anyone ever “heal” from the hurts and pains of what life has brought them thus far. Only then, whether it’s in a therapist’s office or in another type of deeply caring relationship, will the movement from unhappiness to happiness be possible.
From all the different therapies I have learned and practiced, the most important aspect of each has been the consistency in which I have been able to maintain a safe place for my clients to share their concerns and fears. The therapies that have helped me develop a deeper awareness and acceptance of my clients and been successful in improving my clients’ lives have been: Internal Family Systems (IFS), Eye Movement Desensitization Revitalization (EMDR), Narrative, Solution Focused, Behavioral-Cognitive, and Structural Family therapies. Some therapies I use more with some clients than others because different types of people respond differently to different approaches to mental health issues.
I have learned to stay aware of all aspects of a person including their mind, emotions, body sensations, and spirit. Through life experiences we may develop extreme emotions, negative beliefs about ourselves, disturbing bodily sensations, and a lack of knowing how to be or stay in a place of peace, caring, and positive energy. I have helped people unburden themselves of the extreme emotions, develop healthy beliefs about themselves, and decrease certain body disturbances. People report they no longer respond in the same old negative ways to certain situations in their lives. They feel a sense of relief or much less encumbered. Their “spirit” has gotten stronger so they feel more naturally caring and compassionate towards others. They feel they are better equipped to face the people and situations in their lives that terrified them, or made them angry, anxious or depressed before.
This is the result of good therapy that comes from a true willingness on the client’s part to take risks with a therapist who knows how to accept them deeply and guide them into and through their own healing process so they can continue that process on their own when they feel ready to leave therapy.